The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) today congratulated the Tasmanian Government for becoming the first Australian state to adopt a Wood Encouragement Policy (WEP), and urged all jurisdictions to adopt similar policies to boost the use of timber products in local building and construction projects.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton, said today’s announcement by Minister for Resources Guy Barnett – and similar WEPs adopted by municipal councils around Australia – recognised the enormous environmental and commercial benefits of using timber in construction.
“The reasons policy makers are taking this stance is simple – timber products are completely renewable, biodegradable and store carbon, playing a positive role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Hampton said.
“We are seeing increasing recognition in Australia of the environmental advantages of building with sustainable timber, as well as the benefits of versatility and speed of construction. This is evident through the increasing use of new technologies such as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) for major commercial developments, which is a win for the environment and jobs.”
Under Tasmanian’s WEP, private sector and local government building and construction projects that receive support from the Tasmanian Government valued at or greater than $500,000 from the Government, or are to be leased by Government, will need to fully consider the use of wood.
Mr Hampton said Tasmania has a strong forest products industry which stood to benefit from the WEP, but cautioned the Tasmanian Government not to limit the benefits of the policy by applying “buy local” requirements.